I was homeless at 17

A BUSINESSMAN has revealed how he went from sleeping rough to running a global company worth £5.8 million.

Harry Sanders, 23, from Australia, spent years sofa-surfing as a teen, moving out of his home when he was just 17 when his parents divorced.

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Harry Sanders runs a company worth almost £6 million after spending his teens sleeping roughCredit: Instagram/@harrysandersseo/
He set up his SEO company while he was still homeless

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He set up his SEO company while he was still homelessCredit: Instagram/@harrysandersseo/

He found himself “in and out” of often violent government housing and even living on the streets for “a good year”.

He previously told News.com.au: “Nobody every expects to see themselves become homeless but I didn’t come from a wealthy background, and sometimes when it’s pay cheque to pay cheque, a few small things can happen and that’s it.”

At the time, the only thing the teen had to his name was StudioHawk, a search engine optimisation (SEO) company he had registered previously.

But he was so desperate he even unsuccessfully tried to cancel it and get a refund.

And Harry counts his lucky stars that he didn’t as the company is projected to grow in 2022 to around £5.83million.

Harry said he had grown up “tinkering away” on websites and had a natural knack with technology, and had discovered his passion for SEO while working a part-time job at another agency.

The school boy soon realised he had to focus on his business out of “sheer necessity”, and he spent his energy networking and working for free in a bid to attract clients.

Thankfully he had an old school laptop and a “cheap knock-off phone” and he would head into his local homeless shelter to use their Wi-Fi and electricity.

He also managed to complete high school even with just 20 per cent attendance thanks to the support of a school counsellor, but after he landed his first paying clients, StudioHawk finally started to take off.

It didn’t come easily – it took up to a year before Harry had enough money to move into a sharehouse, and in the first year he said he was “lucky to make $30,000 (£15,847) – with $6000 (£3,160) of that profit”.

I have a company worth millions of dollars but sometimes I still catch myself fretting about a $3 bagel

Harry Sanders

But in 2019, StudioHawk doubled its revenue to $3 million (£1.6 million) with Harry describing it as a “crazy journey”.

“To go from nothing to this has been a crazy ride and it’s so surreal getting on planes and doing all these things when not that long ago I was literally trying to scrape $10 together to get food,” he told News.com.au.

While Harry’s company may now be making millions, he by no means a spend thrift.

He added: “Making all this money now is great but it doesn’t really feel real. I have a company worth millions of dollars but sometimes I still catch myself fretting about a $3 bagel and asking myself, ‘do you really need this?’

“When I first started using UberEats I felt almost dirty thinking it was a disgusting waste of money – now I’ve got money in the bank and good things are happening, but I still don’t have crazy spending habits and I still have moments where I think it’s too good to be true.”

And despite all he has achieved Harry insists that he isn’t “special” and encourages others to follow their dreams.

He added: “Other young people out there can do the same thing – I’m not special, I’m not a crazy boy genius. 

“I’m just a guy who has given it a go and more people should do that.”

This story was originally published on News.com.au and has been edited and republished here with permission.

Despite his wealth Harry still lives a frugal lifestyle

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Despite his wealth Harry still lives a frugal lifestyleCredit: Instagram/@harrysandersseo/
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